August 9, 2017 10:44:47 AM
Carl Smith - [email protected]
The field of Oktibbeha County circuit clerk candidates grew to five last week after Stephanie Morgan Snyder, a local public school teacher of 15 years, qualified for the race.
Snyder, a National Board Certified teacher who began her career with the former Starkville School District, now teaches engineering and design at Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District's Millsaps Career and Technology Center.
She previously worked for a decade at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and currently volunteers with the Christian Women's Job Corps in Starkville.
Snyder will face four other candidates -- Teresa Davis, Sheryl Elmore, Tony Rook and Elaine Turner -- in Nov. 7's non-partisan race.
Davis, who is a coordinator for MSU's Receiving Services, is a former circuit clerk candidate who lost in 2011 to the race's eventual winner, former Circuit Clerk Glenn Hamilton.
Elmore has worked in the clerk's office for eight years, which included a stint as the deputy over the county's civil division. Her job includes managing voter data -- including registrations, rolls and the address library -- and handling marriage licenses, passports and restitution payments.
Rook has 24 years of courtroom experience, including 18 years as Starkville's court administrator and department head. He also served with the Starkville Police Department and Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Department.
Turner, who works as an administrative assistant for MSU's Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, previously served in an administrative role with the Mississippi Highway Patrol.
A special election is needed after Hamilton resigned his position last month after he pleaded guilty to one count of methamphetamine possession in Clay County.
The Nov. 7 ballot will also include special elections for the Mississippi House of Representatives' District 38 seat; Oktibbeha County's chancery clerk and District 1 constable; and a referendum on a potential sale or lease of OCH Regional Medical Center.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch